Christian Lacroix goes bust as taste for luxury dries up
Christian Lacroix, the French fashion house famous for its expensive haute couture, has declared insolvency after falling foul of the global recession.
The collapse of Lacroix, which is owned by the Falic Group, a duty free retailer, and employs 125 people, has been attributed to the effects of the global downturn and consumers’ reluctance to spend money on luxury goods.
The fashion house, which was a favourite of characters in the British television comedy Absolutely Fabulous because of its extravagant and expensive designs, said that it had “filed a voluntary petition with the Tribunal de Commerce de Paris to put itself under the protection of the courts" and that it intended to maintain its business operations throughout proceedings.
The company was bought by the Falic in 2005 and subsequently launched an ambitious restructuring plan.
Nicolas Topiol, chief executive of Christian Lacroix, said that the Falic Group's investment in the fashion company had been disrupted by the economic crisis, which had led to a downturn in the luxury goods market and which "considerably hurt our revenues".
With the onset of the recession, major retailers had begun to stop buying new Lacroix merchandise and in April, Neiman Marcus Group and Saks reduced their orders for Lacroix products.
The high-fashion brand was launched by Christian Lacroix 22 years ago and has become well-known for its colourful gypsy-themed clothes.
Mr Lacroix soon expanded out into jewellery, handbags and shoes and opened boutiques in London, Geneva and Japan and he became famous for his high concept approach to fashion, which in 1994 culminated in a collection inspired by folklore, fables and old culture. He has also experimented in children's wear and perfume.
However, the business has never been a financial success. The Lacroix fashion house has never turned a profit and last year reported a €10 million loss.
Sales of the Lacroix women's summer collection are also down 35 per cent this year after major clients decided to reduce spending on luxury fashions.
Christian Lacroix goes bust as taste for luxury dries up - Times Online